Ohio significantly increased COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for residents on Friday as the state moved into new phases for its vaccine rollout.
As of March 19, Ohio is in Phases 1E and 2C of its staggered vaccination plan.
Under Phase 1E, Ohioans with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and obesity are newly eligible.
Likewise, Phase 2C opens today for Ohio residents age 40 and older, with guidance from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office saying that “the risk of more severe reactions and outcomes of COVID-19 increases with age.”
Phase 1E adds approximately 766,000 Ohioans to the state’s vaccine eligibility, while Phase 2C adds 818,000 Ohioans who are age 40-49.
Residents who previously were eligible under Phases 1B, 2A and 2B remain eligible.
The governor announced earlier this month that all Ohioans age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination beginning March 29.
Cincinnatians currently are receiving the two-shot Pfizer vaccine at a state-sponsored pop-up clinic at Cintas Center that runs through March 20 for first doses and April 9-11 for second doses. Metro is offering free rides to the clinic.
As CityBeat previously reported, Cincinnati also will get a long-term mass-vaccination clinic at Cintas Center soon. Details are not yet available but will be posted to Ohio’s coronavirus portal.
DeWine announced March 5 that 15 permanent mass-vaccination sites will open this month around the state, including in Cincinnati. The new clinics will be able to administer 300-3,000 vaccines per day, depending on the location, supply and demand. The clinics will open as more vaccine supply becomes available and will remain in place until they are no longer needed, the governor says.
According to March 18 figures from the Ohio Department of Public Health dashboard, Ohio has 995,785 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases.
During a March 18 briefing, DeWine said that Ohio's COVID-19 case rate is 143.8 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. DeWine has indicated in previous briefings that all coronavirus-related restrictions — such as capacity limits — will be lifted once the state reaches 50 cases per 100,000.
DeWine also noted that 10 counties show declining rates of the virus, dropping at least one level on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System map, which provides visual indicators about the spread of coronavirus for each county within the Buckeye State.
In the Greater Cincinnati region, Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties remain red on the map, indicating “very high exposure and spread.” In January, Hamilton County moved from purple — the most severe exposure and spread level — to red.
Learn about Ohio’s coronavirus vaccine efforts at coronavirus.ohio.gov.